Fostex TH500RP
Feb 11, 2015 at 8:58 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 11

FullBright1

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.
Soundwise:
 
Warm lush mids.
Slightly rolled off trebles, not that dissimilar to Audeze.
Nice bass extension but not overextended into the "basshead" realm.
The clarity, the balance, the extension on both ends is more then decent.
As compared to HifiMan's 400i's, the bass response is a bit more extended and they dont reproduce the slight upper midrange honk of the 400i's.
These are, in my opinion, slightly low-mid thick, and somewhat treble rounded.
 
They are light and not tight.
When you first put them on the pads begin to adjust, and within 20 mins, you sort of forget they are there...almost.
Very comfortable headband design with the ear pads being quite full and soft.....unique feeling.......ive not felt pads like this before.
If you like the feeling of AKG 701s or Sennheiser HD600s, then you'll find these slightly lighter and equal in comfort.
 
Whatever musical genre you feed them, they like.
These are really fine Orthos and the look of the headphones is sort of "Apple Mac", in that there is sort of a refined simplicity in the build and the aluminum-magnesium has that Macbook pro color.
[size=11.8181819915771px]Nice.[/size]
 
I had a bit of trouble finding them so i contacted Sweetwater as i know from previous purchase experience that they will special order anything from their vendors for you if they can, even if they dont actually stock the product.
And so, they did.
I flex-pay'd them, to take a bit of the sting out of the purchase, and WOW........im so glad i took a chance on Steve Guttenberg's Cnet review of these incredible Fostex TH500RP's.
 
or, this one....
 
http://www.trulynet.com/13346/Gadgets/fostex-th500rp-affordable-planar-headphones/
 
Nov 27, 2015 at 3:27 PM Post #3 of 11

Kohe321

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Anyone else have experience with these? They seem very interesting, and have gotten some good reviews, for example this from Cnets Steve Guttenberg: http://www.cnet.com/news/absolutely-sublime-fostex-th500rp-headphones/
 
A bit surprising that there is not more talk about them?
 
Mar 8, 2016 at 8:07 AM Post #4 of 11

Robert777

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  Anyone else have experience with these? They seem very interesting, and have gotten some good reviews, for example this from Cnets Steve Guttenberg: http://www.cnet.com/news/absolutely-sublime-fostex-th500rp-headphones/
 
A bit surprising that there is not more talk about them?

I think the general consensus was that they were not worth the original asking price and that maybe an old T50rp driver in a new housing was not worth the investment.
 
I own them and love them. To me, give them enough power, and you get a fatigue free comfortable listening experience with controlled not overblown bass, lush mids and a nice treble.
 
I think they are more comfortable than anything Audeze have, better build and comfort that Hifiman and I nice coherent image of the music. try them if you can, but people after the last word in detail, separation and soundstage should look elsewhere.
 
Cheers.
 
Mar 8, 2016 at 8:31 AM Post #5 of 11

deafdoorknob

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Mar 8, 2016 at 10:12 AM Post #6 of 11

FullBright1

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I think they are more comfortable than anything Audeze have, better build and comfort that Hifiman and I nice coherent image of the music. try them if you can, but people after the last word in detail, separation and soundstage should look elsewhere.
 
Cheers.

 
Yes,
 
To compare the Fostex to the Audeze is a very good comparison, if comparing the Fostex to the "open back" version of the Audeze EL-8.
Both are sweet analog sounding headphones.
Both are rolled off in the treble and offer fatigue free long term listening.
They are not about exposing the micro-details, but instead are all about warm and rich sound.
The Fostex are much more comfortable then the Audeze, is one certain advantage.
Treble-heads, look elsewhere.
 
Mar 8, 2016 at 10:50 AM Post #7 of 11

Robert777

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Yes,
 
To compare the Fostex to the Audeze is a very good comparison, if comparing the Fostex to the "open back" version of the Audeze EL-8.
Both are sweet analog sounding headphones.
Both are rolled off in the treble and offer fatigue free long term listening.
They are not about exposing the micro-details, but instead are all about warm and rich sound.
The Fostex are much more comfortable then the Audeze, is one certain advantage.
Treble-heads, look elsewhere.

That is an interesting comparison. I have wanted to hear the EL-8's but have not yet had the opportunity.
 
Do you have any thoughts on how the TH500RP's compare to the R70x's?
 
I am considering either the R70x's or the AD2000X's but have been unable to decide.
 
Cheers.
 
Mar 8, 2016 at 11:06 AM Post #8 of 11

FullBright1

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  That is an interesting comparison. I have wanted to hear the EL-8's but have not yet had the opportunity.
 
Do you have any thoughts on how the TH500RP's compare to the R70x's?
 
I am considering either the R70x's or the AD2000X's but have been unable to decide.
 
Cheers.

The R70x, are better all around headphones, then anything in their price range.
They are designed as a "reference" headphone, which simply means they are a step above the "audiophile" marketing scam that companies use to consistently fool people into thinking they have world class sound for $300, when in fact they really dont.
The R70X soundwise, are similar to the Senn HD600<>HD650, but are better overall.
They are light as a feather, have enough clarity without ever sounding ssssssssssssssss, and the bass extension is deep for an open headphone that is an over the ears design, but yet, its not a large over the ears design like you find with Audeze, Beyer, AKG,  or similar others..
They are in fact, extremely unimpressive to look at, as they are very simply designed regarding their aesthetic value.
ATech spent all their design money on their sound instead of creating a really nice looking and impressive box and accessory pouch.
There is nothing aesthetically spectacular about the look of the R70x or its BOX, but their sound is incredible if you can appreciate balanced referenced sound.
If a listener understands that a balanced and accurate sound is to be preferred over any hype in any frequency response, then that person is going to love the R70x.
If the listener needs "more bass" or "more treble" to be happy, then the R70x is just too accurate, sound-wise, to satisfy their need for a hyped-frequency fix.
 
Mar 8, 2016 at 1:28 PM Post #9 of 11

Robert777

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  The R70x, are better all around headphones, then anything in their price range.
They are designed as a "reference" headphone, which simply means they are a step above the "audiophile" marketing scam that companies use to consistently fool people into thinking they have world class sound for $300, when in fact they really dont.
The R70X soundwise, are similar to the Senn HD600<>HD650, but are better overall.
They are light as a feather, have enough clarity without ever sounding ssssssssssssssss, and the bass extension is deep for an open headphone that is an over the ears design, but yet, its not a large over the ears design like you find with Audeze, Beyer, AKG,  or similar others..
They are in fact, extremely unimpressive to look at, as they are very simply designed regarding their aesthetic value.
ATech spent all their design money on their sound instead of creating a really nice looking and impressive box and accessory pouch.
There is nothing aesthetically spectacular about the look of the R70x or its BOX, but their sound is incredible if you can appreciate balanced referenced sound.
If a listener understands that a balanced and accurate sound is to be preferred over any hype in any frequency response, then that person is going to love the R70x.
If the listener needs "more bass" or "more treble" to be happy, then the R70x is just too accurate, sound-wise, to satisfy their need for a hyped-frequency fix.

Thank you for your detailed response.
It's funny, I am also considering the Audioquest Nighthawk or the T50rp Mk3, possibly modified by ZMF, and I imagine all three would be incredibly different from each other.
I hope to try out the R70x soon and I am looking forward to it!
 
Cheers.
 
Mar 24, 2017 at 8:12 AM Post #11 of 11

bagwell359

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Got a set for $239 refurb

Overall if you want a mellow 'tube glow' midrange can that will put you into a cocoon while listening to female vocalists/midrange, or avoid a very hard sounding amp - could be an excellent value. But if you like Senn HD-600's, or AKG's I don't think you'll like them except as a change of pace. Poor man's Audeze - that's what I want them for. I'm playing them 24 hours a day to be sure they are 'burnt in' - since they are refurbs. Maybe the way to look at them is Maggie MMG's - the original. I you just listen to these you might actually forget what they don't do.

Four areas that trouble me:

mid and upper bass: thick (try two cellos and a bass, they bleed into each other), also seems to lack dynamics (Dynaco Mk III anyone?). The mallet on a rotten tomato image wafts into my thoughts.

low bass: where? Personally not that big a deal, usually if mid-bass gets put into its place, low bass becomes more obvious. My test CD's show a drop in bass starting at 75 Hz, and absolutely down by 35 Hz (est 3 db less then HD600's)

treble extension: (as in where is it?) Wow - like a piece of Sonex across a tweeter, this is the #1 sin to me; If Senn 600's are an 11/10 on having too much, these are like 8.1/10 on the not enough side. Test CD shows them starting to dip 6-8K, being obviously down at 12k, and at least 2- 3 db down at 14k.

soundtage/image: smaller (pretty wide, but not tall) I know this is a 'Maggie' issue, (much of it to do with the lack of treble I'm sure). Now they do have a way with soundstage cues, and when the mixing board gets involved, potentially because the high end is louder elsewhere and masks these things which are more obvious here.

Example: Yes, Fragile, "The Fish". I've heard this cut at least 300 times, on exotic super high end equipment of various types, and regular stuff too. Listen to Bruford, right off the bat his toms don't have right snap, then starting at 0:12 = it's WRONG, overtones missing, SPL muted. Never ever have I heard him sound like this on this track, also when the percussion comes in hard right channel at :50. Also telling is the first 10 seconds or so before Squire starts hiting his muddy notes. He's just playing low notes and they are full, but swim between the channels (talking '15 SoTA remix) on the HD-600, on the Fostex - just lazy mud just kind of tossed out there lacking drive. Sorry it can't be right and have ML SL-3, Verity Parsifals, Duettas, Pro Ac EBS, DQ-`10 (w/ ribbon), Maggie 3.6, Stax/ headphones, and everything else be wrong.

At $239 I can't really be upset, but I'd be very unhappy at the list.

I switched to XLR, but it didn't make much of a difference, unlike my other cans which all did.

Final thoughts:

Tried lots of ways to improve the bass. 100% closed is not the way. I've got 9 little pieces of blue tack arrayed around the center of the screens, not over the driver holes, but a bit offset from them. This way it's no bass monster but it's a lot closer to balanced.

The best thing about these is that they never irritate - warm and relaxed. The worst thing is that even the mids which is where these live don't have enough detail. If you have some harsh recordings that are tough to take on your regular cans a set of these used can be nice to have.
 
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